Object of the Week: The 90-year-old Gardner 4T5 at the Anson Engine Museum in Cheshire

By Ben Miller Published: 15 July 2015

For our latest Object of the Week, we bring you one of the most popular exhibits at the engine museum in Poynton

A photo of a large ancient diesel engine inside a museum next to large open windows
© Courtesy Anson Engine Museum
This mighty four-cylinder engine was port-built - designed as a marine engine – by L Gardner & Sons between January and March 1925.  It is Engine No 26302, operating at 400 rpm, with a bore of 8.5 inches and a stroke of 9.5 inches.

It was part of a generator set built for Klinger Stein Hosiery Mills Ltd at Godmanchester, Huntingdon – later to become Huntingdon Hosiery Mills. It was one of a pair adding extra generating capacity.

A photo of a man firing up an ancient engine in front of visitors in a darkened museum
© travellingsimon.com
Its builders had modest Manchester beginnings. When 28-year-old Lawrence Gardner went into business on his own in 1868, he put up a brass plate outside his Manchester workshop saying “L Gardner, Machinist”.

Little did he know that from these humble beginnings a company would grow whose name would become a byword across the globe whenever marine, stationary or automotive diesels are mentioned.

A photo of a man looking at a fired-up diesel engine inside a darkened museum by windows
© Courtesy Anson Engine Museum
The company later moved to Barton Works in Patricroft, Manchester, where it manufactured Diesel engines until the 1990s.

  • You can try to beat the record for creating the 50-piece puzzle jigsaw of the 4T5 on the museum's website. The current record is 4 minutes 29 seconds.

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More Objects of the Week:

A mystery terracotta head found on a tomb in an Ipswich churchyard

The gorse which grows thick near a Roman turret on Hadrian's Wall

Wallis Simpson's nightdress at the Allhallows Museum of Lace in Honiton
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: